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Parade, Party in the Park among events held locally

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FARMINGTON — Hundreds of people attended Farmington's family-friendly Fourth of July Party in the Park today at Brookside Park.

The event featured acitivities like water balloon dodgeball, inflatable bouncy houses and slides, and a variety of vendors and food trucks.

April John attended the event with her boyfriend and children.

"We just came out to have fun with the kids," John said.

Her 4-year-old daughter approached a remote-controlled model firetruck named Freddie. The firetruck, which was controlled by a firefighter standing on the hill above them, asked the girl what her name is.

"Amanda," she answered.

John said Freddie was one of Amanda John's favorite features at the Party In the Park.

In addition to talking to children, Freddie interacted with them by driving around and spraying them with water.

The Party in the Park was one of several local events designed to celebrate Independence Day.

In Bloomfield, the Fourth of July kicked off this morning with the city's annual parade, which took a different route this year. The parade previously has gone down 1st Street. This year, the procession made its way from Bloomfield City Hall down West Blanco Boulevard to the Bloomfield Police Department on Ruth Street.

A tractor led the parade, and the new Bloomfield Fire Department fire truck brought up the rear.

Part of the way through the parade, the firefighters lifted the cover over the hoses and a man dressed as Bumblebee from the “Transformers” movies emerged.

Parade organizer Liza Gomez said the route change made it easier for motorized entries to participate. The previous route took participants south on 1st Street into the Vereda del Rio San Juan Park.

Gomez said the sidewalks on both sides of Blanco Boulevard made it ideal for viewing the parade.

Miss Teen Farmington Latina Yalena Vaughn, 14, was one of the participants in the parade. Vaughn is a student at Mesa View Junior High School in Bloomfield. She joined other pageant participants, including Miss Latina New Mexico and Miss Teen San Juan County in the parade. The pageant winners wore colorful dresses.

Vaughn, who won the title on June 17, also wore a sash that announced she had also won best culture dress.

Vaughn’s ran on an anti-bullying platform in the pageant. She said she wants to find ways to end bullying and violence in schools.

“I would like to come up with ways to stop that,” she said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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